Wallabies Player Ratings - Springboks 2019 - Green and Gold Rugby

Wallabies Player Ratings – Springboks 2019

Wallabies Player Ratings – Springboks 2019

1. James Slipper

First game in donkeys. Seven carries, seven tackles, missing one. Scrum beaten but not destroyed. Got a knee to the head at 48th minute, went off with concussion. 5


2. Folau Fainga’a

Had a decent game, and his lineout throwing was dependable. Made the most tackles (11). Locked in for next week. 6

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3. Sekope Kepu

Lots of scrum penalties came through his side of the scrum. Made no metres, but seven tackles. Gassed when he came off. 4

4. Izack Rodda

Didn’t do much wrong – the lineout functioned – but also didn’t really show up with anything strong. 5


5. Rory Arnold

Showed his defensive maul skills, and put a decent defensive shift in. Made no metres but can you blame him with that attack? One of the Wallabies better players. 7

Lukhan Salakai-Loto

6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto

If only Kerevi released earlier. Showed some good work but his agility and breakdown work held him back. 5


7. Michael Hooper (c)

Does what he does, and did it solidly. A flanker who is a better breakdown threat would have helped, but that’s not Hooper’s game. 3rd biggest carrier with 38 metres and 8 carries. 6

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8. Isi Naisarani 

Solid debut from the Rebels’ 8. Busted lines with his 10 carries. Probably will be swapped out in Brisbane but shouldn’t be. Didn’t provide a breakdown threat, however. 5

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9. Nic White

Showed a lot of promise. Genia is still the best scrumhalf but not much will be lost if he can’t play. Showed nice heads up play with some of his box kicks. 7


10. Bernard Foley

A deep playmaker playing flat, behind a failing pack, Foley did decently. Looks better now he’s not the only who kicks, and when he has another playmaker outside him. 5

11. Reece Hodge

Anonymous. Didn’t receive much ball except that kicked to him by the Boks. Returned kicks well. 4

12. Samu Kerevi

Wallabies’ most potent threat. Masterful, not the quickest but found the right gaps. 18 carries, 81 metres, If only that pass wasn’t forward!



13. Tevita Kuridrani

He played? Received no ball, made 4 carries for 4 metres, and 3 tackles. 4


14. Dane Haylett-Petty

Wow. Had an absolute Barry. Butchered a try, gave away another one. Scored one, though. Also the international winger experiment is probably over.  2

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15. Tom Banks

Deserved his spot coming into the game, but didn’t put his stamp on it. Impressed with his kicking, didn’t impress with his rolled down socks. Overshadowed by Kurtley Beale. 5


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16. Jordan Uelese

Came in, didn’t do much except a wonky throw. Taken off a few minutes later for a concussion test. 4

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17. Harry Johnson-Holmes

For a man coming in 4 days after getting something greasy with gravy at a pub, he did alright. 5


18. Taniela Tupou

Threw his weight around, did something stupid, spent a lot of time on the naughty chair. 4

19. Rob Simmons

Didn’t really do much. 4


20. Jack Dempsey

Caught a ball. That’s it. 4


21. Will Genia

Would have been better to see come on earlier, despite White’s performance. Threw a great ball to Beale. 5


22. Matt Toomua

Gave Foley some much-needed support as a second playmaker. 5


23. Kurtley Beale

Made a huge impact, and dazzled like he does. At his best from the bench. Will be picked to start next week, disappoint, be returned to the bench and so on. 7


10 – A legendary performance to go down in the history books
9 – Outstanding performance: Man of the match shoo-in
8 – Excellent all-round game
7 – Good game with a few sparkles
6 – Solid performance
5 – Average – ho hum
4 – Below par
3 – Had a bad game
2 – Tell your story walking pal
1 – A complete joke

Player Ratings – Australia vs Ireland

  • The Jackal

    Good areas

  • Twoilms

    Kerevi wasn’t an 8. He made a few breaks but he also ran the ball dead twice, butchered a certain try and missed a pretty regulation 1v1 tackle to let in the last try.

    • BigNickHartman

      Fair, although if thats a butchering of a try what was DHP’s effort? Kerevi still made the most metres of any player on the weekend, including ABs & Pumas

      • Huw Tindall

        Not bad at all from a 12 against a rush defence. Room for improvement sure so maybe a 7 but our BOG that day.

      • Alister Smith

        DHP more of an abattoir/slaughterhouse worker than a butcher with his effort

    • Brumby Runner

      He missed the tackle after being the tackler on the player immediately beforehand. He actually made an excellent effort to get from the inside player to the try scorer, and all after the final bell. It was anything but a regulation miss.

  • Nutta

    Pretty fair write-up. Can’t really fault it too much. I’m a bit picky but not overly. Pity I can’t give the article itself a ‘like’

  • Mica

    Beale definitely ran a nice line and threw a peach of a pass, but he also made a number of errors in his short time on the field. I guess that’s just about par for KB though – some good and exciting play mixed in with a few basic errors. I think the common term is X Factor…………..

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nick.
    No one is ever going to agree 100%. Personally I though Naisarani was better than Hooper. I think Hooper needs a fetcher to cover his role (still not sure just what that is) and you didn’t have that this week and it hurt.
    I also thought Rodda, Foley and Banks were also below par for this game. Felt sorry for Banks as he suffered from not getting the ball.
    However, nit picking really so overall happy

    • John Miller

      Yep, Naisarani was Australia’s best forward. Across his 55 minutes, Vodacom listed Naisarani as Australia’s most frequent ball carrier, the biggest forward metre eater (gained almost exclusively in the central channel), 2nd highest tackle breaker, 3rd highest lineout winner and (on a per minute basis), the team’s 4th most prolific tackler with zero misses. In a well beaten (and beaten up) side, that’s a pretty good debut for a first time test 8.

      The Wallabies breakdown was indeed a travesty. But that can’t be blamed upon Naisarani, a non-competing ruck animal. The lack of any breakdown contest proficient forwards against a collaboratively strong ruck opponent (particularly the breakdown masterclass deployed by Francois Louw), was a failure once again of selection.

      • Brumby Runner

        Precisely, and all down to the way Michael Hooper plays his role, whatever that is. Hooper was very visible hanging out in the centres whenever there was a tackle/ruck situation, especially defensive rucks. He might be playing exactly how Cheika wants him, but it leaves the ruck area very weak and the forwards essentially one man down during play.

        • Timbo

          Where is the opposition most vulnerable at the breakdown? Especially when they are flooding their rucks with bodies essentially sealing off any chance of a turnover?
          The answer of course is out in the backs. Now Hooper didn’t make any turn overs, however when there were guys with 20-30kgs on him blowing through rucks in the centre of the park, his only option for a turn over is further towards the wings.
          We do talk about no plan b but Hooper started in tight and progressively moved out when his attempts were thwarted.

        • UTG

          He did make a turnover towards the end of the game, pretty sure it was midfield. The other reason he’s playing wider in defence is because with two 110kg+ backrowers, you don’t have the same ground coverage as you do with a smaller, lighter back row. We saw the issue with this in SA’s first try when Naisarani made a pretty poor read in defence leaving Slipper stranded out wide. There’s a reason Kwagga Smith is playing at 6 this weekend against the ABs, who are so good on the edge, despite not being the heavy, barraging blindside everyone pines for. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to have a more traditional back row, you just see changes in other areas as well.

        • Luke Nelson

          not sure you understand how SA play UTG.
          SA plays their open side at 6 and blind side at 7, the same as france.
          Pieter-Steph du Toit is picked at 7 for SA – he is “the heavy, barraging blindside everyone pines for”… or are you suggesting he has been picked as a hard on the ball 7 like pocock or cane?
          No, that is Kwagga

    • Jason

      I’d agree Isi was better than Hooper but relative to a lot of those other players I’d not be moving Isi up, but Hooper down.

      I don’t think anyone has ever hooped for an injury to their own team’s captain but that’s the only way we are going to see Hooper not starting and frankly we need him on the bench and Pocock (or Wright if Pocock is still injured) starting at 7.

      Pocock, Isi/Valentini and Jones/LSL is a really nice pack, LSL and Jones can both slot into the second row letting you tell Arnold to RIP-IN for 60. But importantly it gives us a lot of ruck presence (as opposed to the ZERO ruck presence we had).

  • juswal

    Good work, Nick. I won’t argue with the ratings because I didn’t watch a replay and still don’t want to.

    I reckon it would be easier for the writers of these articles if they didn’t have to rate all the replacements with a score out of ten. What about marking them:
    A: added something
    B: adequate replacement
    C: didn’t get enough time
    D: stuffed up

  • Howard

    Pretty fair ratings. Agree Isi could have got more, but Hooper went well also

    • Huw Tindall

      I’d leave Naisarani at 5. His defence out wider was a big average. Closed unnecessarily for the first Book try leaving Slipper in desperate cover defence. Couple of other instances in the second half. In tight OK though as that’s how he played at the Rebels.

      • UTG

        Agreed, certainly would keep him at 8 for his work in attack and the tight but defence is an issue, particularly on counter. Usually in the pod setup with the Pooper we’d have Hooper or Pocock on a flank in attack so if the ball is turned over one of them will be able to shut it down if it comes wide. Bit different when we have LSL and Naisarani out wide who just aren’t mobile enough to shut down outside backs. This is why I reckon we’ll see Valetini or Jones at 6 who are a bit quicker across the turf sideways (LSL’s top speed is fine). It’s also why you need Hooper at 7 when you play two 110kg+ backrowers.

        • Huw Tindall

          Would love Valentini. He was in the 34 and was sent home to play club rugby so hopefully he is still in the reckoning. I can deal with Luke Jones at 6 as well as has the experience and game smarts required for Test rugby if not Valentini’s power. Would love one of our front rowers to be a ruck option too. Only HJH and Latu do that in the current crop. Slipper is OK too.

        • Brumby Runner

          Allan Ala’alatoa gets his share of turnovers too, though probably not as many as HJH nor Latu, but doesn’t give away the number of penalties Latu does either.

        • Huw Tindall

          That’s the risk isn’t it BR. Maybe we have to take it? Really hope 7As and Sio are fit this weekend and even more so if Slipper doesn’t recover from his head knock. Given Uelese is in the same boat perhaps with a head knock we may see Latu regardless as he is the only other hooker in the squad right now.

        • Huw Tindall

          Bloody hell I’ve forgotten Samu. He was in sensational form and would go well in a back row with Isi and Hooper. Offers the all around game we need in a 6 including a legit ruck threat.

        • UTG

          We’re seeing more and more hookers assume the role of fetcher (Creevy, Marx etc.). For one they have the right body shape making it hard to blast them off the ball but it also allows the 7 to drift wider in defence and cover the outside men.

        • Huw Tindall

          2 players who can go hard on the ball seems the minimum nowadays. At the moment Australia has 0.5 with Hooper leading the D line and not able to be the regular first man in. The coaches seem to like him there so ruck presence needs to come from elsewhere in the pack. None of the starting pack last week really provide that. Even if you ditched Hooper and put Liam Wright in he’d still be a lone presence. I’m not suggesting a Wright & Hooper combo but someone else in the pack needs to be having a red hot go at the ruck. As BR pointed out below 7As can be pretty handy but looking at the squad it’s only really Latu who fits the bill but that comes with it’s penalty/discipline risks.

        • UTG

          Tupou and AAA probably both add that 0.5. As you say Latu is the only genuine option. FF was pretty good last week in his primary roles so he’ll be definitely starting again (as he should be) if Uelese is out with concussion then worth a punt on Latu. If Latu is played then I wouldn’t mind Tupou starting, he could throw the Argentinians off their game early if he can put some shots on but also because it’s risky having two penalty/YC magnets on at the same time. Works well with AAA coming off the bench to ease him back in after injury.

        • Huw Tindall

          Forgot Pete Samu in all this! Had a blinder of a season and would fit right in as a more dynamic 6 compared to LSL. Makes good run metres too so won’t lost too much over LSL.

      • John Miller

        Naisarani was stranded in the 13 channel as the last front line defender against Bok flyers Jantjies, Esterhuizen and Nkosi because at the immediately preceding play Faingaa lost the central collision, Kepu tackled ineffectively over the back and from the side and Hooper inexplicably failed to engage whilst right in front of the play when Francois Louw stole Wallaby attacking pill in front of him. In the resultant sweeping backline play you refer to, Slipper fails to push up to Beast, meaning Arnold stays in front of the ball carrier and then Naisarani has three Springbok backs in front of him. There are about half a dozen defensive “fails” before Naisarani is faced with this split second decision. The try was not his fault.

        • Huw Tindall

          True it wasn’t Isi fault alone. It was a 3 on 4 defensive situation and they should have pushed the Boks toward the side. Hodge was rushing to get in line (was coming up from the back field after the turnover) and there were inside men like Slipper coming across the cover the inside. Trust the inside man. Push the opposition sideways. The sideline never misses a tackle.

        • John Miller

          The theory is exactly right. Unfortunately, the actual execution of the drift by the Wallabies in this example was incredibly poor. Beast held the ball in two hands with no pressure to pass from either Slipper who was meekly dawdling on his inside shoulder (amazingly giving his electric turn off pace to attempt the cover tackle on Nkosi shortly thereafter), and Arnold who was simply shuffling to stay in front of Beast. Naisarani couldn’t close on Jantjies because he didn’t have possession. He also couldn’t drift off him to cover Esterhuizen and leave the inside channel free because his inside defenders weren’t drifting in sync and that would just have allowed the flyhalf to sprint through. Naisarani looks in No Man’s Land because he is, and the clumsy attempt to nab Jantjies when Beast finally passes makes him look guilty. But the bloke was unfortunately in an impossible position. It is a defensive systemic issue rather than an individual defensive one; the genesis of which came from the previous breakdown disaster involving Kepu and Hooper.

        • UTG

          Naisarani needs to drift earlier out to Esterhuizen, he stays too tight and Arnold and Slipper don’t have anywhere to go. Rather than jamming he needed to trust his inside men here, even if the Beast does make a break we can cover that a lot more easily than if it makes its way out to the wing. It’s the downside of playing a big 6 and 8 with the 1-3-3–1 attacking pod structure, on turnover ball you get big loosies playing wide who don’t know how to deal with multiple fast men running at them. As you said above though, would have all been avoided if Kepu does his job.

        • John Miller

          Slipper absolutely has somewhere to go – press up Beast MT. That frees up Arnold to drift to Jantjies and Nas to complete the drift until they meet the sideline or Hodges catches up on the flank. But Slipper does not press simply trots across field and both he and Arnold double team Beast. Arnold is not shifting from the ball carrier and Nas then can’t leave Jantjies the open inside shoulder for a short pass straight through – because neither inside man is catching him.

          Bearing in mind, all of this has occurred from a fast Louw turnover at the previous ruck so the overlap is a piecemeal scramble as a consequence of poor Wallabies breakdown execution with Hooper in the central channel. So if the Wallabies have designed a 1 3 3 1 and utilised Hooper in a middle pod rather than one of the peripheries, then the entire issue is a structural one rather than any individual players fault.

        • UTG

          Slipper is a long way from the beast when he receives the ball, he’s not really in a position to cut down the beast before he has time to make a decision. If he pushes up early then the beast will just tip it on and we’ll have lost a trailing defender. I think Slipper makes the right move to concede ground and start jockeying early but because Naisarani isn’t drifting on the outside Arnold can’t move and we get the situation where Slipper and Arnold are both covering the beast. Slipper actually lays a hand on the beast just after he passes so there’s no reason to doubt he had him covered.

          Agree, one of the failings of the 1-3-3-1 structure is it puts these guys in this position too many times. However, as far as overlaps go, you’d still expect your test quality 8 or 6 along along with the other forwards on the inside to do a better job than this. The Boks are pretty bunched and the sideline isn’t too far away, it shouldn’t have been hard to jockey them into it. Even if Naisarani can’t make it across to the winger in time that leaves a one on one with Hodge which should be able to shut down.

  • IMHO – Time to reconsider Hooper as a starting 7. He’s an awesome, committed player no argument from me but I think we would do better with a traditional big beastie #7 who can lynch the breakdown for the first 60 minutes. The Wallabies fair suck the last few seasons and all these endless experiments around players that don’t quite fit the bill is clearly not working and just shuffling the players around them every game isn’t helping either. Go back to basics.

    • NSWelsham in London

      couldnt agree more. The bloke gives his all every game but unfortunately we need someone who is going to give their all and play to their correct position. We arent a threat at the breakdown and the world knows this…


    I keep reading people say “if only Kerevi released the ball earlier”………but in fact if you watch it carefully he looked at Foley, who pointed and told him to go or pass the other way! THAT was the delay that screwed Kerevi over……

    • Who?

      And why did Foley point the other way? Because he was stupid enough to be running in FRONT of the ball carrier!!! Why do we have so many players who think the way to support a ball carrier is to be wide and flat, or even in front of the carrier?! It’s not just Foley (though he should know better), it’s far too common.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Yeah but I’ve gotten used to that…….. but not the fact people can’t read the game and even report the story all weird as if that breakdown in play was somehow a stuff up by Kerevi! Fact is it was Kerevis mistake forced by a playmaker who can’t read attack properly! The sooner Foley is away from that backline the better!

    • Jim

      I was always taught that you should never pass to someone who is not in a better position than the ball carrier. Much better to go to ground and recycle.
      Having said that, support runners have a responsibility to provide the option to the ball carrier and thus should never overrun the ball carrier. Both Kerevi and SLS to blame here in my opinion. I would also suggest that pushing passess and overruning ball carriers is a symptom of a team low on confidence.


    Also…. I love your assessment on Foley…… Basically states the less he touches the ball the better he looks!
    What a JOKE the Wallabies are…….

    • Nicholas Powers

      Exactly! I the podcast this week was almost comical…they were discussing how Foley had a solid game…but then complained that the attack was completely stale, we didn’t have enough short flick passes to Kerevi, not enough long balls out wide to Kurindrani and the wings, shouldn’t have Foley kicking from deep in our own territory…

      …if only there was a fly-half eligible for the Wallabies who excels in short flick passes to rampaging backs, has one of the best long-passes in the world, AND can kick farther than a schoolboy


  • Who?

    It’s always rough looking at player figures after a game like that. Can’t help but feel like everyone who scored under 6 should be a point lower, because, as a team, we just weren’t anywhere near intelligent out there. Even a couple of the guys over 5 could drop a point, too (Kerevi, Beale could lose 2 (all he did was run straight), Hooper). Because I don’t know that many guys out there managed a ho hum level of game, let alone an average performance.


Hopes to play David Pocock in the inevitable biopic. Lifelong fan of whoever Jarrad Hayne is currently playing for.

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